The Glazers, the family that owns and runs the Manchester United football club, along with Mumbai Indians, Shah Rukh Khan’s Kolkata Knight Riders franchise, financial services company Capri Global, Kiran Kumar Grandhi of Delhi Capitals and Big Bash League (BBL) club Sydney Sixers are now part of the band new Emirates T20 League that’s all set to get underway in early 2022.
The six-franchise league – a brainchild of former IPL chief operating officer Sundar Raman, and now being run by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) with the blessings of Sheikh Al Nahyan, who heads the UAE Ministry of Culture, Youth & Social Development – had been in the making for a couple of years now and will finally see the light of the day tentatively in January next year. ECB is all set to lock in a broadcaster soon.
Raman first began working on the league two years ago and the business model backing it and multiple IPL owners MI, CSK and KKR – initially took interest. “However, as things changed and the ECB took charge, CSK opted out. Meanwhile, financial services company Capri Global too had submitted bids for an IPL franchise in the recent auction and are learnt to be taking active interest in the sport’s T20 landscape.
Delhi Capitals co-owner Grandhi is learnt to be investing in the league from an individual perspective. DC's other 50% co-owner Parth Jindal will not be a part of this league. And for Shah Rukh, Dubai has always been a second home to him. This 'desert league' will work on a unique business model where the franchises will invest on an annual basis and work on substantial returns through broadcast and sponsorships. While there’s no word on whether the BCCI – that now shares a good working relationship with the ECB – will allow any Indian players to participate, the league’s organisers expect cricketers from across the globe to show huge interest.